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Diabetes in Adults

How Is Diabetes Treated?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012 - 17:57

Contributing Author: Guy Slowik FRCS

Diabetes can't be cured, but it can be controlled. The treatment varies according to how much insulin the body makes, and how well the body is able to use available insulin.

  • Many people with type 2 diabetes can control their diabetes at first by losing weight, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly.
  • Others also need pills that help boost their natural insulin, or help the body use insulin more efficiently.
  • Many adults with type 2 diabetes eventually need insulin shots.
  • People with type 1 diabetes always need insulin shots.

Treatment for diabetes helps keep blood sugar levels steady and alleviates symptoms. Controlling blood sugar will also help reduce the risk of complications, such as problems with the kidneys, eyes, heart, skin, mouth and feet.

Who Treats Diabetes?

Treating diabetes is a team effort. Your diabetes team may include:

  • A doctor. This may be a regular doctor or a diabetes specialist (an endocrinologist)
  • A diabetes educator, who may also be a registered nurse
  • A dietitian, who can help with planning meals and snacks, and can answer questions about food

People with diabetes need to have regular check-ups from a dentist and an eye doctor, and may need help from a podiatrist (foot specialist). People with diabetes may also need expert help getting started on an exercise program.

The diabetes team can help you:

  • Eat in a way that keeps blood sugar as steady as possible
  • Lose weight if necessary
  • Test your blood sugar correctly
  • Learn to take insulin shots
  • Start a fitness program
  • Watch for and treat symptoms of low blood sugar, which may be a medication side effect
  • Watch out for early signs of complications such as problems with eyes, feet, skin and kidneys

Diabetes in Adults